Motor Fleet Insurance
Managing your business’ fleet of vehicles worth anywhere from a few thousand to millions of pounds can seem like a Herculean task.
Fortunately, with a bespoke motor fleet insurance policy you do not need superhuman strength to manage your business’ vehicles. Compared to standard motor insurance policies, the average motor fleet policy is much more robust and flexible, making your job easier by reducing driver restrictions and allowing you to regularly add or remove vehicles from your policy. Unburden yourself by securing a comprehensive motor fleet policy for your business.
Types of Cover
Insurers usually define a fleet as anywhere from five to thousands of vehicles. The advantages of a motor fleet policy stem from its flexibility and wide breadth of cover. While standard motor insurance can only cover certain vehicles under certain policies, motor fleet can cover an assortment of vehicles with a variety of uses under one policy. This flexibility reduces the need for fleet oversight and thus lowers overall administrative costs. The following vehicles can be covered all together under one policy:
- Special type vehicles and mechanical plant
- Agricultural and forestry vehicles
- Large goods vehicles (LGVs)
Because a fleet can consist of five or 5,000 vehicles, motor fleet policies typically offer a more expanded selection of extensions than standard motor policies to accommodate all types of fleets. The following extensions may be available as part of a fleet policy:
- Replacement locks following loss or theft of keys
- Vehicle recovery and redelivery
- New vehicle replacement
- Occasional business use
- Replacement locks
- Personal accident
- Medical expenses
- Personal effects
- Legal protection
- Sonic booms
This list is not comprehensive. It represents just a few of the scores of extensions available to motor fleet policy holders. We can work with you to write a bespoke policy that addresses your business’ specific risks. This list is also not all-inclusive, but it may be possible to obtain cover for these exclusions as an extension of a bespoke policy.
Motor fleet policies are a viable, cost-saving alternative to standard policies, but they are not without their exclusions. The exclusions enumerated below are some of the most common to motor fleet policies:
- Loss of use costs not covered by a courtesy car arrangement
- Wear, tear, depreciation and diminution of value
- Mechanical breakdown repair costs
- Loss of vehicle through deception
- Tyre damage through normal use
- Keys left in the vehicle
- Private cars
Although motor fleet policies are more flexible and can encompass a larger array of vehicles, the same general range of covers, listed below, is available to fleet operators as private individuals:
- Third party only policies are legally required in the United Kingdom and only protect against injury, loss or damage to third parties.
- Third party fire and theft policies extend fire and theft cover to a third party only policy.
- Comprehensive policies come with a higher excess but substantially protect vehicles owned by your business or in its custody from accidental damage.
Excess amounts across all three categories of cover will vary depending on the type of work your business does and its level of risk. Insurers rate business’ risk exposure and calculate premiums based on the fleet’s claims experience over the last three to five years and any current trends that can forecast how the fleet will perform in the future.
Haulage Motor Fleet Insurance
Whether you are an owner operator or managing an entire fleet, your haulage business is at risk whenever your vehicles are off the road. Stagnancy is alarming for the transport industry — every second that any of your vehicles are sidelined threatens your earning potential. To ensure maximum profit and efficiency, your employees and vehicles need to be perpetually in motion. Keep them on the move with a hauliers insurance policy.
Hauliers’ insurance policies protect you from any loss or damage to goods that you are transporting. Without a hauliers’ policy, you could be liable for loss or damage, which can translate to substantial compensation claims that stop you in your tracks. Clear the road of any obstacles and ensure your own peace of mind with a reliable hauliers insurance policy.
Hauliers operate according to trade contract conditions that clarify each party’s responsibilities and liability. Typical conditions of carriage include the Road Haulage Association (RHA) conditions or the Freight Transport Association (FTA) conditions. You must be a member of these trade organisations in order to use their conditions of carriage.
Both RHA and FTA conditions of carriage allow hauliers to limit their liability to a certain amount per tonne, but this amount will never exceed the actual goods’ value. Hauliers’ insurance only covers the hauliers’ liability specified in the trade contract, not the actual goods they transport.
Make sure your contract wording also covers liability incurred under the Convention Relative au Contrat de Transport International de Marchandises par Route (CMR), ratified in the UK by the Carriage of Goods by Road Act 1965. The CMR is a United Nations convention that designates responsibility in the road movement of goods between two participating countries. The CMR facilitates easier travel across national boundaries by establishing standard trading practices and assigning liability, such as making the haulier responsible for shipment delays. Extra CMR liability should be addressed in your hauliers’ policy.
Insurers rely on underwriters to assess your risks and calculate your premium depending on several factors, including what goods are typically transported. Tanker operators, household removal specialists and hauliers that transport refrigerated goods are all subject to increased underwriter scrutiny due to the sensitivity of their cargo. Policies generally exclude specialist goods like livestock or explosives. It is possible to find policies which insure such specialist goods, though they are likely to have extra restrictions.
Typical Policies Because hauliers may transport a wide variety of goods, insurers can include an equally wide breadth of cover in their policies.
Hauliers’ insurance policies are diverse. They can be based on a limited contractual liability basis or an all risks liability basis. Depending on your specific policy, it could include the following types of liability covers:
- Contractual liability cover protects against liability from standard conditions of carriage from the RHA or FTA, or bespoke haulier contracts.
- CMR liability covers liability generated from shipments which fall under the CMR agreement.
- Liability at common law provides extra cover, sometimes with a separate indemnity limit.
- Extended liability offers increased protection for increased liability.
Other possible covers include goods in transit, employers liability, public/products liability and business interruption.
Haulage Motor Fleet Extensions
Insurers echo the array of different hauliers’ policies with a wide range of possible extensions, some of which are enumerated below:
- Legal costs
- Hauliers’ property
- Debris removal
- Legal liability for consequential loss
- Drivers’ personal effects
- Commercial considerations
- Frozen food
Haulage Motor Fleet Exclusions
The exclusions to the average hauliers’ insurance policy can be as numerous as the extensions. Common exclusions include the following:
- Inner limits are applied to most goods deemed very attractive to thieves, such as precious stones or metals, bottle spirits, tobacco, computers, nonferrous metals and mobile phones.
- Theft restrictions designate when a haulier is liable for damage or loss of goods due to theft, such as failing to leave a trailer in an enclosed premises overnight.
- Claims conditions specify that the haulier must not make any admission, offer, promise or payment without the insurer’s prior consent.
- Loss or damage while someone other than the haulier is driving the haulier’s vehicle will not be covered.
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